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Trudeau to Respond to FTC Charges
Sep 24, 2007, 5:30 PM

The FTC has charged Trudeau with misrepresenting his new book.
Kevin Trudeau, facing charges from the Federal Trade Commission that he is in contempt of a 2004 court order, will submit his response to the U.S. District Court in the coming days, according to Trudeau's attorney David Bradford.

"The charges are without merit, and the commercials are protected by the First Amendent,” said Bradford. "Everything in the commercial is an accurate statement about the books."

In a court brief dated Sept. 13, the FTC charges Trudeau with knowingly making false statements about his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” According to the brief, Trudeau claims in three infomercials promoting the book that the diet program is “easy” and allows people to eat “everything they want” upon completion.

Following a 2003 dispute with the FTC for making unsubstantiated claims about health products, Trudeau agreed to a permanent injunction that barred him from producing or appearing in any infomercials, with a narrow exception for those relating to informational books — as long as he doesn’t misrepresent the content. He also paid a $2 million fine, without an admission of guilt or wrongdoing.

“Now, we are charging that he is in contempt, that he’s breaking that injunction,” said FTC representative Jackie Dizdul.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27, to discuss a schedule for further proceedings.

“The hearing on Thursday will be dealing with scheduling, when the defendant will make his response, then the FTC will lay out its argument." said Laureen Kapin, an attorney representing the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. "And, from there, the court will decide how to proceed.”

According to the FTC, many of the activities associated with Trudeau’s diet regiment are in fact quite arduous. In various phases of the program, consumers are required to take intramuscular injections of a prescription drug not approved for weight loss in the U.S., undergo 15 colonics in a month-long period, and adhere to substantial life-long dietary and behavioral restrictions.

Trudeau first faced charges from the FTC in 1998 alleging that he made misleading statements in infomercials for various health products. As a result, Trudeau agreed to an order barring him from making any “unsubstantiated claims about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any product.”

A New York Times best-seller, “The Weight Loss Cure” outlines a four-phase program. Though Trudeau claims you can eat whatever you want once you complete the diet, the fourth step is for the rest of your life, making the diet impossible to finish, according to the FTC.

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